smoky bbq veggie burgers
This week in particular, more than many others, has really shown my age.
I went to a concert on Friday night, stayed out until midnight, and it took me the entire rest of the weekend to recover. Then, my husband took me out to dinner and a show Tuesday night, and we didn’t even get home that late — like, 10:30. My head hit the pillow by 11, and yesterday morning, I slept through my 6 a.m. alarm. I felt like I’d been run over by a truck.
I’ve also been catching myself saying things like “golly,” losing track of the glasses that are already on my face, worrying about my houseplants and putting night cream under my eyes. And having things that are called “houseplants.” This is 29 for me, apparently.
One thing I do appreciate about my age, however? That I have the experience to know what a really good veggie burger tastes like. And these smoky BBQ veggie burgers, my friends, are VERY VERY GOOD.
I wasn’t surprised to find out how delicious they are, considering they come straight from my friend Dana’s new cookbook, Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking. The book is filled with page after page of gorgeous photography and ridiculously tasty recipes, all of which are plant-based, some of which are gluten free, and all of which I want to shove into my face as soon as possible.
But since there are 101 recipes in the book, that may take some time, so I’m starting with these veggie burgers.
These burgers are made with mashed chickpeas, quinoa, flavorful spices and an easy vegan BBQ sauce, the recipe for which is in the book, as well. It makes a boatload of sauce, so feel free to drown your burger in extra sauce and also serve some on the side in which to dip fries. Or just spoon it straight into your mouth. It’s that good and no one will judge you if they’ve tried it, certainly not me.
Like many veggie burgers, this one is a little soft, but Dana offers a suggestion to firm/crisp it up: bake it in the oven after cooking it on the stove. So genius. It makes the burger just that much more “burger”-like, but with more flavor and texture than you’d ever get from a meat burger. Place this bebe on a homemade bun with some fresh lettuce and sliced onion, maybe some cheese if you like, DEFINITELY THE SAUCE, and dig in. Add this one to your list of “good veggie burgers” and plan to consume them all summer long. That’s my plan, anyway. That, and trying to regularly water my houseplants.
For the easy vegan BBQ sauce:
- 2 cups naturally sweetened organic ketchup
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon plain yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup muscovado sugar or organic brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne or chipotle pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and ground black pepper
For the burgers:
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste
- 1 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, plus more to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or organic brown sugar, plus more to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons easy vegan BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or avocado oil, plus more as needed
- Buns, lettuce, onion and/or slaw, extra BBQ sauce, etc. for topping
- To make the BBQ sauce: In large saucepan over medium heat, stir all ingredients to combine. Heat until just bubbling, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking mixture often, 15 minutes until well combined and slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside to cool.*
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, use pastry cutter or fork to mash chickpeas to a paste, leaving a few chickpeas whole for texture. Add quinoa, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, sea salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper if desired, coconut sugar and 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce. Stir to combine. If mixture is too dry, add more BBQ sauce. If mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Heat large skillet over medium heat. To form patties, line 1/2 cup measuring cup or 1/3 cup measuring cup with plastic wrap. Fill with mixture and press down firmly. Lift out and slightly flatten so patty is not as tall. Transfer to clean plate. Repeat to make 4 burgers (with 1/2 cup measuring cup) or 6 burgers (with 1/3 cup measuring cup).
- Add 2 tablespoons grape seed oil to hot pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle tops of burgers with more salt and chili powder. Gently place patties seasoned side-down in hot, oiled skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until brown. Season top sides with more salt and chili powder, then flip. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes on other side.**
- Serve burgers on buns with desired toppings.
- *Leftover BBQ sauce can be stored in large resealable jar in fridge for 3 to 4 weeks. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
- **Burgers can be served as is, or for firmer/crispier texture, bake burgers on baking sheet in 350 degree F oven for 15 to 30 minutes.